I keep waiting for the housing market to cool and when it does I'm afraid the big-ticket style bikes will go the way of the passenger pigeon. I have some real fears about the economy. Couple that with "break even 101" that states when a company invests heavily in capital assets they must make aggressive competitive moves to fill their new found capacity in an effort to spread those new fixed costs over increased sales volume. I fear this is going to be like watching a slow motion train wreck. I wish the best for Victory but I won't buy any of their stock just yet. I want the #50 bike.
Rode a Vegas in Daytona. Very, very impressed. Chassis is like a rock. Motor had great power with nothing but new exhaust and air mod. Pricing in line with HD but the Victories appear to be a much better product IMO.
Back in '98 I worked with a motorcycle shop in GA that was the 1st Victory dealer. I watched the Polaris guys come into the shop and hand pick 2 of the 8 full-time techs and take them to MN for "Victory School". Although they had teething problems the bike were pretty good for the first run. Now, the guys at Polaris are pushing forward pretty quickly in their R&D and will be a major pain in the a$$ for many manufactures including HD. With the deal they struck with KTM it wouldn't be unreasonable to think they are getting something together to give Eric and his crew fits. The real losers in this are the "clone" guys. Big Dog is pretty safe but Patriot, Steed, Am Iron Horse and others will be history within 3-5 years.
I'd be interested in seeing some actual sales numbers to see how many of these are rolling out the door. I've seen very few of these on the road.
That tall motor kind of pigeonholes Victory's styling to the high tank/low seat chopperesque look. I'll bet they're wishing they had used a pushrod design considering 4 valve heads and OHC doesn't offer much benefit on a motor that has a 6000 rpm redline.
Overall it looks like they have a quality product and I wish them much success since it will pressure H-D to constantly improve.
There were some rumors about Victory expanding into the streetfighter/sportbike market over the last year or two. I wonder if that's one of the things they're up to.
Totally agree about most of the small "custom" manufacturers. There's no significant depth to the market and the prices are just too high. We've probably already got complete oversaturation; there's too many custom houses and factories to support a fairly small audience. And they all specialize in the flavor of the month. What happens when that changes? Most of these companies will be history in the near future.
"I have some real fears about the economy. Couple that with "break even 101" that states when a company invests heavily in capital assets they must make aggressive competitive moves to fill their new found capacity in an effort to spread those new fixed costs over increased sales volume."
They've already made the biggest capital investments. The question is when they start making a profit on their bikes and then is that profit worth it. The other question I have is what percentage of Polaris' sales are Victory?
As for the economy - don't worry, there is nothing on the horizon that will doom us. The recovery will be slow and protracted. The stock market isn't worried about the economy, nor are they overly impressed. There is pressure to make about 10% to 15% profit for publicly traded companys, and I don't know how that affects Polaris. Employess will continue to get less and less if we don't demand a little more respect. The alternative for domestic companies unable to sell to poorer and poorer Americans is to sell overseas. Any Polaris bikes going to Europe?
Do you know how the motor is going to fare against emission regulations? I have the impression the pushrod air-cooled V-twin will be history in a few years without major detuning and catalytic converter.
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